In March 1992, in the city of São Tomé, the Heads of State and Government of the Portuguese-Speaking African Countries (PALOP) expressed their strong political desire to establish multi-form cooperative relations with each other and with the European Union, including Timor-Leste from 2007, to become the group called PALOP-TL.
Our co-operation programme has come a long way over the past 25 years, sailing at times on rough seas, but without losing its compass and guided by the objective of strengthening relations with each other and with the Member States of the European Union.
Despite the geographical distance between Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe and Timor-Leste, there are historical and cultural affinities between our countries, based on the same official language.
Our inherited systems of governance also have features in common, particularly in public administration, justice and the management of public finances, as well as the historical and political pathways chosen after the independence of our countries.
Our partnership has promoted the development of a representative identity for the six countries and enabled us to explore synergies across borders in the pursuit of innovation and the deepening of South-South and triangular cooperation.
This cooperation has strengthened democratic processes in our countries and control mechanisms in public finances, as well as contributing to the enhancement of cultural heritage.
After a quarter of a century, we can celebrate the sharing of experiences and specialised knowledge. This has produced a valuable bank of knowledge which is systematised and available to all.
The strategic angle of our partnership is ‘the identification of common solutions to common problems, to promote the exchange of knowledge, experiences and the dissemination of best practice’.
Our countries have always shown strong political commitment and a great determination to deepen their integration as a specific region. Our aim is also to strengthen cooperation with the European Union in areas of common interest.
We are looking at new challenges and opportunities for the future, but we have already worked together in ‘cultural and creative industries’, emerging as a key sector in promoting employment for our fellow citizens, in particular young people.
Coordination of the PALOP-TL/EU Programme